Pursuant to O.C.G.A.§ 17-5-72 victims of sexual assault in the State of Georgia may request, at no cost to the victim, a forensic medical examination for sexual assault, regardless of whether the victim participates in the criminal justice system or cooperates with law enforcement in pursuing prosecution of the underlying crime. The Georgia Crime Victims Compensation Program (CVCP) should be billed directly for all expenses relating to a forensic medical examination [i.e. lab work, emergency room fees, physician’s fees, SANE fees, all clinical fees associated with the exam, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) testing, etc.] Neither the victim nor any collateral sources, (e.g. insurance), may be billed for a forensic medical examination.
Providers, victim advocates, social service representatives and the criminal justice community must all remain cognizant of the mandate for victims to receive free forensic medical examinations. The purpose is two-fold:
1. Address the needs of individuals that are victims of sex crimes by providing free forensic exams and additional follow-up treatment.
2. Address the needs of the criminal justice system, which is to collect, handle, preserve, interpret and analyze the evidence collected from forensic exams.